There are two excellent reasons that residents of Anamosa and beyond need to create art: it’s something everyone can do, and it’s something everyone should do, especially those receiving palliative care.
True, if art hasn’t been a big part of your life so far, it’s quite easy to dismiss the whole thing as something only other people do, or perhaps something only the “pros” are any good at, like DaVinci or Van Gogh.
But the team at Above and Beyond Home Health Care is always eager to encourage patients and family members to try their hand at art, whether it’s drawing, painting, or other visual projects, or performing arts like dance.
Art doesn’t have to be commercial either; it really should be thought of as something you enjoy making which greatly helps engage your brain at the same time it reduces any tension, anxiety or stress. It’s the perfect way to pass the time, beat boredom and even uplift your mood.
Even handicrafts like knitting, crochet, or quilting count as art – you’re creating something wonderful and hand-made, and putting choices into patterns you follow or design yourself, and also choose the colors, the fabric or the textiles. Plus, a completed item given as a gift is definitely appreciated because of all the skill that was involved in making it.
Get excited about art
Though there’s never a bad time to focus on discovering or rediscovering one’s art, this month is a perfect opportunity to start learning more.
July is World Watercolor Month, a global opportunity to not only raise awareness of art but encourage people to explore their art abilities further.
The actual event is organized by the Doodlewash art blog, with the noble purpose of getting everyone excited about watercolor-focused art. The official event also has a charitable focus and aims to raise money for the Dreaming Zebra Foundation, a nonprofit that encourages children to use art as a way to express themselves creatively and possibly consider pursuing in art in the future.
Participants are encouraged to make donations to the foundation or in their local communities, and also show off their own watercolor creations on the official WWM site all month long. The site even provides 31 themes or subjects, one a day, for people who want to get involved but don’t know where to start.
But getting excited about art can go beyond watercolor and it can also go beyond helping kids, although these are both excellent areas to focus on.
Seniors can get great benefits out of creating art.
- It can boost the brain. We know art feels good, but modern research shows that creating art actually can create or re-route neural pathways in the brain. Not only can this help the overall thought process, but it can also help people resist the advances of forms of dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease. This particular disease is known to cause damage to neural pathways, but if new ones are created, it could slow the progression. These enhanced pathways also make it easy for both hemispheres of the brain to work closer together, improving overall functioning.
- Anyone can do it. Even if you had negative experiences in art in your past, such as a critical teacher, there’s no pressure anymore to have to create a certain type or style of art for a grade or a job. Business Insider says it no longer matters whether you consider your art to be good, bad, or in anything in between. No one is comparing yours to anyone else’s art, and you can do what feels good.
- You’re doing something for yourself. Even better, you’ll get the same benefits of creating wonderful art, whether you’re great or haven’t picked up a paintbrush in 60 years.
- It can help you psychologically too. Some people have had negative experiences with their art in the past and doing their own helps to remove or rewrite their feelings. Others find that creating art is a good way to express other complex thoughts and feelings that may be hard to express in words. It can also reduce sadness. When you’re creating art therapeutically, there are no rules: go ahead and throw paint on the canvas, scribble hard on the paper or throw clay around.
For people who are interested in art to help their creativity and reduce their stress but don’t know where to start, there is an easy option: through Above and Beyond Home Health Care.
We are proud to offer a therapeutic art program for our patients. Therapeutic artist Xene Abraham has had special training in not only teaching but helping people find benefits to it. She hosts group sessions in the region as well as one-on-one sessions for existing patients interested in boosting their creativity and improving their quality of life. Abraham sees art as a creative outlet that can be relaxing and helpful. Plus, it simply can be fun.
Please contact us to find out more about this useful service or other creative resources in the community.